What do you think of when you think of decadence? Perhaps it’s having a fancy sports car, an eight bedroom house with finely manicured land at the back complete with a housekeeper, gardener, round the clock nanny and a cook, or would you be more in line with the super rich city dwellers embarking on basement wars in Chelsea, where their desperate need for indoor waterfalls, huge wine cellars, indoor gyms, spas and cinemas supersedes all common sense and neighbourly happiness.
Since being a mum, I’ve joined in with the popular line of thought that having a coffee by myself and visiting the bathroom alone are all treats. Nowadays, clothes shopping is dashing into TK Max in desperation because I’ve ignored the indelible stains of life with children on all my tops and the holes in the knees of every pair of trousers, jeans and leggings for far too long, but what if I had time and the bank balance to peruse a clothing shop and try on an item before buying it just because I like it. Hmm, luxury.
When a contract comes my way, I skip off to work, like I’m off on holiday and am probably in a minority group of people (actually, it’s possible that I’m in this group by myself) that aren’t unhappy at a tube delay because it means I get to read an extra chapter of my own book before going home and reading several books about teddy bears, peppa pig’s latest antics and rehashed book versions of disney films. I just want to take a moment here to make it clear that I love reading to my children, but daughter number two is currently, inexplicably obsessed with ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and i think if i have to read that again i might prick my own finger on a spinning wheel in the hope i get to sleep for 100 years. I’m very thankful that my eldest is now into Roald Dahl – now that’s a writer!
Getting back to my point, I would have described all this coffee drinking, reading my own choice of book to myself, clothes shopping just for the hell of it as decadent, but one Monday, I spotted something that made me reconsider. It was a sight that I would call real decadence. Something that brought back happy, carefree memories of a time long past. It was 3.30 on a Monday afternoon, a normal run of the mill Monday afternoon – not a bank holiday, and there were three friends sat in the window of a local pub, with a large glass of wine each. It was definitely social, rather than a work meeting. You could just see the signs of genuine relaxation, happiness and comfort.
It got me thinking about what it would like to be so carefree i could ask a couple of friends for an afternoon tipple on a Monday. I was on my way to swimming lessons at the time, navigating a pram which my toddler was jumping in and out of at whim, trying to appeal to my hyper, over excitable daughters to slow down, as they were on track to knock over a few innocent bystanders with the game of tag they’d decided to play on our incredibly busy, crowded high street. There were swim bags, school bags, a picnic bag, nappy bag and general bag of tricks to keep them occupied in between lessons, all balanced precariously off the pram which was threatening to tip up at any moment, as we powered along the pavement. So, thank you ladies, whoever you were, for making me smile.
No consequences, deadlines, children to put to bed, school bags to pack, meals to plan and cook, laundry piling up, just a Monday afternoon, with nothing else to do but laugh with friends.
So, I’ve decided to brighten up my Monday, add a bit of glamour. I’ve found a top to wear that only has one small hole in (trip to TK Max might be looming) and fancy earrings. That’s me in full decadent Monday glory. It’s happening, the earrings are in.
There’s indoor waterfalls – and there’s true decadence…